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This tour will include some splendid “jewels” of the Salent: Lecce (also known as the “Florence of the South”), Otranto with the beautiful mosaic floor in the Cathedral ), Galatina and Gallipoli (the wonderful Greek colony).
Accommodation: In order to avoid having to move from hotel to hotel and also to give you ample opportunity to enjoy Lecce’s shopping possibilities, gastronomy and nightlife, you will spend all 3 nights in a hotel in the historical center of Lecce.
Airport of Bari or airport of Brindisi.
Our full day tours start at 9.30 h at your hotel and have a duration of 8 hours. Our half day tours start at 9.30 h (morning tours) or at 14.30 h (afternoon tours) and have a duration of 4 hours.
This tour is planned with a drive and a guide.
An English Speaking Driver is not a guide. He will drive you during your journey, helping you to enjoy the experience of seeing the sights close-up. He will give you general information and take care of the practical details of your day itinerary by contacting your local guide, restaurant and escorting you safely to your hotel after a day trip.
A local Guide is the acknowledged expert of the area you are visiting. He has an in depth knowledge of the subject and can illustrate archaeological areas, museums and other places of interest in your language and with great clarity. We strongly advise you to hire a local guide for a thematic tour.
A driver will pick you up at the airport of Brindisi and take you to your hotel in Lecce. The baroque city Lecce is the capital city of the Salento peninsula. Then your guide will take you on a sightseeing tour of Lecce . By the way, the city was also the capital of the Ancient Terra d’Otranto on the Puglian peninsula. Lecce is called the Southern Florence for its wonderful architecture. You will discover why it has been included by Lonely Planet in the top ten of the cities to visit. The guided tour will take you through the history of Lecce and its symbols (churches, monasteries, palaces, squares, castle): from the Roman domination (when it was called Lupiae) to the Barocco style. The city tour will include the most important monuments: Sant’Oronzo square, Roman Amphitheatre, Roman Theartre, Celestini Palace, Basilica of Santa Croce with its wonderful baroque façade, the stunning Duomo square (one of the few “closed” squares of Italy), Adorno Palace, Carafa Palace, Charles V Castle , some other interesting churches (S. Irene, S. Matteo, S. Chiara, the Greek, etc.) the ancient city doors (Rudiae, Napoli, S. Biagio). During the tour e can stop to visit an artesan workshop (papier-maché, etc.) and/or to taste a typical “fast food” of Lecce (from the salty Rustico to the sweet Pasticciotto or an ice-cream) and/or a coffee in a artisanal roasting bar.) è denominata la Firenze del Sud per la ricchezza e bellezza della sua architettura. Il suo centro storico è ricco di testimonianze che vanno dall’antica Roma fino allo splendore del Barocco. Visiteremo l’anfiteatro ed il teatro Romano, le sue splendide piazze (Piazza Duomo e Sant’Oronzo), la Basilica di Santa Croce, i suoi palazzi ed alcune delle altre chiese barocche, il castello Carlo V, le antiche porte, un laboratorio artigiano per scoprire i segreti della cartapesta Leccese.
In the morning you will leave Lecce and go to Otranto (Unesco world heritage). Otranto is not far from Lecce and its Cathedral there is one of the world’s largest mosaic floors. We will also visit Otranto’s Castle and have some refreshments. Afterwards a private transfer will take you back to Lecce, where you will have some free time to enjoy the town. (Dinner and overnight stay in Lecce.)
Today you will visit Galatina, a town that i salso called the “Southern Assisi” because of its beautifully decorated church Santa Caterina d’Alessandria that is only surpassed by the beauty of the Basilica di Assisi. Galatina is also a symbol or Puglian folk music, known as “tarantismo” and of Puglian folk dance called “pizzica”. It is time for some refreshments and in the afternoon you will visit Gallipoli. The atmosphere is vivid. You will visit the Castle, the baroque cathedral, the Church Chiesa della Purità (beautifully decorated with a wonderful canvas behind the altar) and the picturesque harbor. We will then visit a subterrenean oil mill that was built in the 17th century and used to produce lampo il that was exported to many European countries. In the evening you will return to Lecce, have dinner and stay in the hotel in Lecce, which will be your gracious home during this vacation.
Depending on your departure time and your interests, you can choose one of our optional excursions. We recommend a visit of the white city Ostuni, of the trulli city Alberobello (UNESCO world heritage site), of Brindisi (the door to the Orient), to Corigliano d’Otranto with its castle, etc.) … or to dedicate the day to relaxing and wellness. You could also spend some time at the seaside or go shopping in Lecce.